Introducing the Eighth Wonder of travel books. A joyous, passionate gift book for travelers — both the real and the armchair variety — 1,000 Places to See Before You Die delivers exactly the promise of its around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of places guaranteed to give you shivers, the unique and wonderful places you must see on and off the beaten track.
Take a safari into Botswana's Okavango Delta, the world's largest oasis, where "if you see 10 percent of what sees you, it's an exceptional day." Sail the Grenadines, 32 islands and hundreds of dotlike cays strung like a necklace of gems across 40 miles of pristine waters. Tour the covered souks of Aleppo, where the labyrinthine streets seem straight out of A Thousand and One Nights and frankincense and myrhh are still sold. Hike the Tasman Glacier. Climb the Tuscan hills to San Gimignano. Stay at the Hassler in Rome, or Paris's Crillon — you must, at least once. There's Canyon de Chelly, Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market, the backwaters of Kerala, Ipanema beach, the Buddhas of Borobudur, Mesa Verde's cave dwellings, the Oaxaca Saturday market, Ballybunion Golf Club.
The prose is gorgeous, seizing on exactly what makes each entry worthy of inclusion. And, following the romance, the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone and fax numbers, web sites, costs, best times to visit. Of special interest are subject-specific indexes — gorgeous beaches, destination restaurants, world-class museums — making the guide entirely user-friendly, no matter if you're dreaming or going. (Georgie Lewis, Powells.com)